My husband and I have traveled to every continent. For almost a decade we have taken at least two international trips each year.
However, I am sorry to say that we seldom leave from University Park Airport. Our trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands in 2014 illustrates why. We were scheduled to leave State College on the first flight of the day to Detroit. When we arrived at the airport, we were told that the flight was canceled because the previous evening’s flight from Detroit had been canceled and there was no plane to fly us to that city. The reason given for that cancellation was that there had been too many planes in the air.
Delta Airlines wanted us to take a late afternoon flight to Houston. However, since that would have involved an 18-hour layover in that city the airline then suggested we fly on the first morning flight to Detroit the next day. Either way, we were going to miss the first day of our tour and would not be compensated for our hotel charge in Quito, Ecuador. The next morning, we arrived at the airport for our flight and, again, it was canceled. This time, we were told that the cancellation was due to technical issues. Since it was imperative that we get to Ecuador that day, Delta rerouted us through Philadelphia and we arrived in Quito after midnight.
This is not the only delay or cancellation we experienced. In October, my husband’s flight to Philadelphia was delayed due to heavy fog. Once again, he missed the first day of his tour. We have experienced other scheduling problems over the years but these are the most recent. I would say that there is at best a 50 percent chance that a flight out of University Park Airport will leave as scheduled.
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My husband and I may be traveling again in 2017 and there is a good chance we will not fly from SCE. If we must leave from here, we will leave a day earlier than necessary to avoid missed connections. And we will definitely not fly to Philadelphia.
We would very much like to depart from SCE. It is only a five-minute drive from our house to the airport! If airport authorities are serious about lessening “leakage,” flights must depart on time far more often than they currently do. Such poor service hurts travelers, visitors and the economic vitality of this area. I hope conditions can be improved before the target date of 2025.
Susan Houser, State College